Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008!

I wish you every happiness on this Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with love and laughter, family and friends and of course great food.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Milestone and News

I shall toot my own horn for just a minute if you will kindly bare with me. This is my 100th post. And I am kind of proud of myself. Little did I know way back in February with that first tentative post, that I would still be writing now. I thought I would share a few photos, get a few comments and soon lose interest.

My cousin Lisa had stared Greenbow a few months before and I always enjoyed seeing her pictures and reading what she had to say. And it would be a fun way to communicate with her. So I began what has come to be an important part of my life.

One of the very first blogs I came across was Cheryl of My Wildlife Sanctuary. She and I have become fast friends and she has taught me so much about the care and protection of wild life of all kinds. I look forward with great anticipation to her posts. And along the way, I have grown to love her dearly!

Rose, who is my life-long-best-friend-in-the-whole-world(!!), has her own blog now and we share this as well. Her posts always brighten my days and she even occasionally mentions me. :)

And then there are people like Wendy and Beth whose posts I have been reading and enjoying since almost the beginning. Mr. McGregor's Daughter, Marnie, Mary, Carol, Gail and on and on, are more of the ones I value as friends. You can see all the blogs I love to follow on my side bar. If I could put a star besides each one I would.

I guess what I am trying to say, is this is such a great community of wonderful people. If I couldn't keep in touch with all of you, I would be very saddened.

Thank you all for making these 100 posts so enjoyable. I hope to be able to do 100s more!

With all of that out of the way, I had to show you these pictures I took today. I went out with camera in hand (like that is something new!) to see if I could find anything of interest in the garden and was amazed that this Delphinium is still standing and still in flower. I posted it a few days ago and the buds were not yet open. Now some of them are. This is after several nights of killing frost and a light snow. I said last time I thought this was supposed to be magic fountain lavender, and that it had been tagged wrong. Now I think not. I have found the correct tag....

it is Delphinium Candle Larkspur, 'Black Knight". Sorry, my filing system is a little questionable. Which ever name she is, she truly deserves an award for longest lasting flower in my garden!
Another visit to the dermatologist, today and more lab work. The good news is I am getting better-according to him. I don't see much improvement. The not so good news is we are talking a few months yet with this condition. The official name for the rash is Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris.
If you are interested I have some sites where you can read more about it. One of the sights has pictures of a child with it, but it is exactly how it looks on me. You can see and read here, here, and here.
I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. May your holiday be filled with family, love and lots of good food.

Monday, November 17, 2008

White Stuff and a Rant!

Snow! Yes, it really snowed this evening in central Illinois. I'll admit you had to look quickly and it's not a measurable amount. But it does kind of put me in the holiday mood. You know, 'over the river and through the woods...through the white and drifting snow'. I think those are the words. At least that's the way I sing it!

I couldn't resist taking a few pictures. So I put a jacket over my pajamas, slipped on my shoes and the cat and I went out on the patio. I hope the neighbors didn't see me out there in the dark bending over and taking pictures.

By morning it may be gone-at least I got to enjoy it for a little while. There is an old saying that says the date the first snow falls foretells the number of snows for the winter. Does that mean we will have 16 more snows? If they are all as lite as this one, winter won't be too bad.

And now for the 'rant' part. I have been trying for days to download or upload, I'm not very good with computer terminology, this picture. I wanted the header on my blog to be Thanksgiving-y.

I did get it on there, but so tiny you could barely see it. Back to my pictures and into fix mode. Tried to enlarge it. Didn't work. Of course blogger was in S-L-O-W mode while I was attempting the change. My rant is two-fold I guess. First, I don't know enough about the workings of my computer and it's programs. And secondly, blogger can be so #%{*! annoying most of the time. The not knowing I can fix. I'd like to take a computer class this winter at the adult ed. center. Blogger is something I may have to live with as I'm sure I don't know enough to change to one of the other services!

I wish you all a glorious Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with family, love, laughter and joy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

GBBD November, 2008

I know this post is a day early, but this is the weekend with the grand girls and I wasn't sure I would have time to get it posted. So better early than not at all. GBBD is brought to you by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. Thanks Carol!

It is raining-again. Not a heavy rain, just a cold, wind blown, chill you to the bone rain. Typical November weather. And notice the dark gray skies? We've not seen the sun in days. I guess that is what we get after having such a mild beautiful and fall.

Most of the crops are harvested and a lot of the fields have been worked and spread with lime. But there are a few fields ,such as the one below, where there is still corn waiting to be picked. For those farmers it may be a while. Kind of like me with my gardens. I think my opportunities are limited now as to what clean up I will get done.

Bloom Day, November 2008 finds little in my garden still blooming. But I will admit to being surprised when I went out to look. After a few nights of hard frost I had little hope of finding anything but brown, brown and more brown.

The ground cover vinca is sporting a tiny bloom here and there. I think it must be a bit confused. Usually I only see blooms on this in the spring and early summer.

And this is Delphinium x Magic Fountain Lavender. At least that is what the tag said. It has never been lavender, but has produced several stalks of these pretty blue flowers. I can't imagine that the frost hasn't reduced this to mush!

Bless it's heart, this Superbena dark blue( it really is a darker shade of purple than the camera shows) still has a few valiant flowers blooming. This annual has done so well this year-my first year to try any verbena-that I am putting it high on my list of 'must haves' for next year.

That is all I could find with any color in the gardens. I told you picking were slim!

I had to show you the fern though. I finally got it hung between the main living room and the front area where we have a skylight. After an initial adjustment period where it lost a few fronds, it seems to be doing well. And even though it does take up a lot of space, it and all the other house plants will add a much needed touch of the outdoors during the long dark winter.

Do you realize that Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away? And then it is only 4 more weeks til Christmas! Time to make out those wish lists with all your gardening wants.

Happy dreaming of next year's gardens!

** still not a lot of improvement with the rash. I take dose 3 of the new meds tonight and am hoping to see some sign of it getting better soon!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Planting Bulbs- the Easy Way!

Time to get those spring bulbs in the ground!

Yes, I knew it was getting late in the season and the weather was not going to hold much longer. I had over estimated my energy level when buying all those bulbs. Somehow when you are standing there in the garden center it's easy to get carried away buying all those pretty flowering bulbs. I bought 50 Tulipa Darwin Hybrid ' pink impressions' , 20Tulipa 'don quichotte', 20 Tulipa 'mata hari', and 12 Tulipa 'angelique'. Then Rose and I split an order from a spring bulb catalog. I had 10 'pink charm' daffodils, 5 'replete' daffodils and 10 'triplet lilies'. (Can you tell I like pink?) Maybe that doesn't sound like many but the thought of digging all those holes seemed daunting to me. So I used my brain rather than my brawn. I called the kids and offered to fix supper if they would plant my bulbs.

Bless their hearts they came, they dug, they planted! And I am sure I will have no straight lines, Carol. In fact, I'm pretty sure I will have quite a mix of blooms as even some of the grandkids helped. It was a fun afternoon and we had a great spaghetti supper afterwards.

Now do you think I can use the same ploy to get those leaves raked?

Our 41st anniversary was last week and we both had to work that day. Hubby was in Michigan-he drives a semi truck-so we didn't get to celebrate til the weekend. We went to one of our favorite restaurants 'Italian Patio'. It is just a little place with lots of quaint charm and wonderful food.

I love the decor! It was a very enjoyable evening. The company was wonderful even after all these years.

I show you this bed so that you will not think I have all my fall chores done. Pitiful isn't it?! Hey, I wonder if the kids would like lasagna for supper one night next week....
*Thank you all for your kind words and all your caring. It helped me so much to be able to share Andrea's story with all of you.
**My rash is slowly strating to get better.
Hope You get all you fall garden projects done before the snow flies!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Birthday Love

Happy Birthday, dearest daughter.
34 years ago today, our 2nd daughter was born. A lovely dark eyed, dark haired, bundle of joy.

She was welcomed by us and her 3 1/2 year old sister, lots of grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

She grew into a loving, caring, giving person. She made friends with the friendless. She fought for the under dogs. She protected the helpless. We were very proud of her and her convictions.

We lost Andrea in July of 2006 in a car crash.

This blog is named Dragonfly Corner in her memory. She was passionate about dragonflies and their beauty.

Dragonflies help us keep her in our hearts.

I hope when you see one you will think of her too.

You were a wonderful, fiercely protective mother, a loving daughter, sister, wife and friend.
We miss you, Andie. We will always love you and keep you in our hearts.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fabulous Fall Foliage and Good News!

We have had a lovely fall with very seasonable temperatures. The first frost held off a good two weeks beyond the normal date and the rainy dreary days have been few. In other words, glorious autumnal weather!

I have enjoyed so many of your Fall Color posts -sponsored by Dave at Home Garden, that I decided I had to share some of our local color.

This tree, a soft maple, is in our front yard. Unfortunately, this is the only color I have. All the rest of the photos are ones I have taken around our area.

We do have some forests in central Illinois. I know some of you think all we have are corn and bean fields!

Just think-the vivid orange of these leaves is there all the time. But during summer it is hidden by chlorophyll!

I wish I knew the names of all these trees. Something I will have to work on.

Some colors just say, "Look at me!"

The burning bushes are as pretty as I ever remember seeing them.

Some of the trees are still in the process of changing colors.

And some are completely changed.

Some are so bright they almost hurt your eyes.

The color of these trees has to be one of my favorites.

Or....maybe this color is my favorite.

I hope you are having a beautiful fall and that you are taking the time to enjoy all of the wonderful colors.

Now for the good news!
After hearing from my dermatologist that I wouldn't be able to see the specialist in Springfield until December 30, I got a call from there on Thursday saying they had a cancellation on Friday at 10:00 am. Rose, dear friend that she is agreed to go with me and be my navigator, and hand holder.
Dr. Stone, a professor at SIU and the head of the dermatology department there, saw me. After a very brief exam he had a diagnosis. It is a type of Pityriasis-skin rash. He said he see about 4 cases a year. With out any treatment it will go away on it's own in 3 or 4 years. I know my mouth dropped open at that! With treatment I should be rash free in a couple of months with a noticeable improvement in a couple of weeks. Yes! I can do this.
The treatment started with a shot of Triamcinolone Acetonide for the itching. This is a liquid form of the steroid cream I have been using. Almost immediate relief and it lasted for several hours. I am itching some again, but it's nothing like it was. The next step in the treatment is a medicine called Methotrexate. This medicine is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. I take 4 pills once a week with blood work in between to keep an eye on my liver count. Along with these pills I take Soriatane once a day. This one can also affect the liver. Dr. Stone sent his treatment plan back up to my regular dermatologist so I won't have to go back to Springfield but can have everything done and checked close to home! Lastly, I am off the dreaded Prednisone, and I am back on my Miracle drug-Lyrica.
He was the kindest man and so very gentle . He explained everything in great detail and made me feel like a human again instead of some freak of nature. I thank the powers that be I was referred to him.
I also want to thank each and every one of you who have offered prayers and good wishes, who have given me cyber hugs and most of all given me your support and friendship. All of this has helped me through a very trying time.
Here is to you and the light at the end of the tunnel!!